Chlorophyll is a chemical compound in plants that collects light and uses the light to make energy. It also gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll is the life blood of plants. It has a long list of health benefits from alkalinizing the body to yes, protecting it from cancer.
A study at Oregon State University found that the chlorophyll in green vegetables “offers protection against cancer when tested against the modest carcinogen exposure levels most likely to be found in the environment.” The protective mechanism of chlorophyll is fairly simple – it just binds with and sequesters carcinogens within the gastrointestinal tract until they are eliminated from the body.
According to Michael T. Simonich of the Linus Pauling Institute, chlorophyll actually helps fight cancer cell growth and acts as an antioxidant in the body. Chlorophyll forms a complex with the carcinogens that your body has a difficult time absorbing, such as fungus-contaminated nuts and grains, the toxic materials created when meat has been overcooked, and carcinogens in the air that result from pollution, so your body eliminates these complexes through feces, helping to prevent cancer. It does this by blocking the metabolism of chemicals known as procarcinogens that damage DNA. By preventing DNA from being damaged, cancer growth is inhibited and prevented. It is important to have your veggie-filled salad before eating anything that may have carcinogenic effects, like a charbroiled steak, because if chlorophyll is consumed after having cancer-causing food items, there will be little benefit because the carcinogen has been ingested and assimilated. That said, including a lot of chlorophyll in your daily diet will help to protect you from other carcinogens like the polluted air we’re surrounded by.
The antioxidant action of chlorophyll, according to “Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine” can lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer. Chlorophyll also aids in oxygenating the blood, and cancer can’t thrive in oxygen. It efficiently delivers magnesium and helps the blood in carrying the much needed oxygen to all cells and tissues.
What else does chlorophyll do besides protect against cancer? Keep reading…
The range of health benefits to gain from chlorophyll is nothing short of miraculous. Chlorophyll is known to improve the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune and detoxification systems of the body – leading to many different and overlapping health benefits.
Some of the numerous health benefits of chlorophyll include:
- Cleanses, oxygenates and builds the blood
- A powerful detoxification effect on the body
- Rich in enzymes that promote quick rejuvenation of our cells
- High in Amino acids
- Extracts toxins form the liver and improves liver function
- Regulator of calcium
- Helps break addiction
- Alkalizes the body
- Wound-healing properties
- Eliminates bad breath and body odors
- Feeds heart tissues with iron & magnesium
- Regulates menstruation
- Revitalizes the vascular system
- Improves teeth enamel and gums
- Improves milk production in lactating mothers
- Improves blood sugar problems
- Fights infection
- Anti-oxidant – neutralize free radicals
- Promotes healthy intestinal flora
- Helps reverse protein-deficient anemia
- Protection from cancer
- Helps skin disorders
- Bind and removes toxic heavy metals from the body
- Can stimulate bowel movements and is a great aid in colon cleansing
- Improves the detrimental effects of radiation
How do we integrate more chlorophyll into our diet?
Essentially, any green plant that you consume contains some level of chlorophyll as this is what gives it its green color, but some foods are higher in chlorophyll than others. Generally speaking, the darker the green color, the more chlorophyll, so dark leafy greens are a great source, especially dino kale and other kale varieties, swiss chard and darker greens like arugula. Adding herbs like parsley and cilantro are also great ways to spruce up your salads and increase chlorophyll content in your diet. Blue-green algae such as spirulina and chlorella are also especially high in chlorophyll, as are all sprouts. Wheatgrass has one of the highest sources of chlorophyll available. Juicing it on a regular basis can have powerful detoxification effects.
Chlorophyll is very easy to absorb and assimilate. Eating organic whole green foods or fresh juice are by far the best ways to get more chlorophyll into your body. Another way that’s really simple to integrate it is with concentrated supplement drops that can simply be added to your water. It is tasteless, but will create a dark green color. When people ask you what in the world you’re drinking, you can share your knowledge about this wondrous substance that can do so much to add to our health and well-being.
Let’s approach our health from a standpoint of prevention. Let food be thy medicine, and eat more chlorophyll!